SPORTS

Reds slip up at Milano as Greens down Barcelona

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Basketball

Olympiakos missed a great chance to go top of the Euroleague table, going down at Armani Milano on Wednesday, but Panathinaikos made the most of its home advantage to beat Barcelona on Tuesday and stay joint fifth with 11 wins in 19 games.

The Reds were betrayed by their inexistent defense in Italy to lose 99-83 to the league’s bottom club at the time and drop to third at the standings with 13 wins, one behind Real Madrid and CSKA Moscow.

After a good first quarter, when Olympiakos led 21-15 having collected nine offensive rebounds, the Milan team scored 84 points in 30 minutes past a very poor Olympiakos that once again had a disappointing Vassilis Spanoulis (3/10 field goals, five turnovers) and an even worse Matt Lojeski (0/7 FG).

Even the half-time score of 41-41 would not reveal what was to follow in the second half, when the hosts toyed with the Greeks making 32 points in the last quarter alone.

Giorgos Printezis was the top scorer for the Reds notching up 16 points, and he is expected to lead their charge on Friday against Bamberg.

Yiannis Bourousis led Panathinaikos to a precious 71-65 home win, as he made up for the poor showing of most of the Greens’ guards on the night.

The match had a uniform picture throughout, with Panathinaikos holding a small lead and Barcelona playing catch-up in a vain effort to improve its poor record in the Euroleague.

The Greens had Bourousis score 14 points, collect 11 rebounds and earn eight fouls, while KC Rivers had another good game with 13 points. However overall Panathinaikos continued to be erratic and will have a tough task visiting Red Star Belgrade on Thursday.

In the FIBA Champions League PAOK triumphed 84-54 at Ventspils to clinch a spot in the next round, AEK defeated Zielona Gora 74-64 and Aris went down 80-66 at Monaco. All three Greek teams have reached the last 24 of the competition, with AEK finishing second and Aris and PAOK fourth in their groups.

They will all feature in the first knock-out stage to take place on February 7/8 and 21/22.

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